Turbocharged Unicorn: 1986 Toyota Hilux Xtra Cab 4X4

Though previously I preferred full-size pickup trucks, more recently I have gotten into mid-size pickup trucks, especially ones from the 1970s and the 1980s. One of the mid-size pickups that has caught my eye more recently is the Toyota Hilux; I saw a really nice 2WD mid-1980s Xtra Cab while driving home from work the other day. This 1986 Hilux is not only a 4X4, it is also the rare two-year only turbocharged model! Find it here on eBay in Manchester, New Hampshire, with a Buy-It-Now price of $19,000.

Introduced in Japan in 1968, the Hilux arrived in the United States beginning in 1969, the Hilux was redesigned in 1983, bringing more boxy, upright styling compared to the previous generation. A new option, the Xtra Cab, was introduced that same year, adding six inches of space behind the seat for in-cab storage. The Hilux gained further fame and notoriety in the Back to the Future film franchise, with Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox) receiving a 1985 Hilux 4X4 in black. Toyota would later pay homage to that truck in 2015 with a 2016 Tacoma done up in similar fashion. This particular 1986 model is an Xtra Cab 4X4 pickup, and according to the seller, is in “original, perfect condition”. The truck looks awesome in its mirror-finish black paint, and with the chrome wheels, exhaust, bed-mounted roll-bars, black side steps, Cargo King bed and tailgate liner, front-mounted grille guard with KC driver lights, and roof-mounted KC lights, this is exactly how I would have spec’d this truck back in 1986. The chrome roll bars in the pickup bed do have some blemishes towards the tailgate, and there is a little bit of bubbling by the front fender flare on the passenger-side rocker panel, but I’m just nitpicking at this point. Visually, this is one of the nicest Toyota Hilux 4X4s from the 1980s that I’ve ever seen.

Though the 2.4L 22R SOHC I4 was standard in the Hilux pickup, this Hilux 4X4 features the rare and desirable turbocharged 2.4L 22R-TE SOHC I4. Rated at 135 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque, the 22R-TE was only available from 1985-1986 and was intended to compete against Nissan’s Hardbody pickup, which featured a V6 engine (Toyota would introduce its own 3.0L V6 beginning in 1988). The 22R-TE was also intended to address the complaint that the 22R lacked enough high end power to really get the Hilux going, especially when merging onto a busy highway. The 22R-TE features EFI fuel-injection (a la the 22R-E) and a small turbo (if you know what turbo Toyota used or any more information on the 22R-TE, let me know in the comments section). This truck also features the desirable 5-speed manual transmission and, newly available for 1986 on Hilux 4X4s, a independent torsion-bar front suspension. Having traveled under 68,000 miles in its 31-year life, this truck has nice, low mileage.

Arguably the nicest part of the truck is the interior, which looks brand-new (though I am curious as to why there is tape on the vinyl part of the seat on the driver’s side; I’m guessing there’s a tear there that needs to be addressed). The truck was optioned with a cassette player (which you can see is right in front of the manual-floor shifter), and I love the fact that this truck has the analog gauge cluster rather than the futuristic but troublesome digital gauge cluster. The manual windows are a nice bonus for me as well, and I love the floor shift with the 4-wheel drive shifter in front of it. Overall, this is one of the nicest Toyota trucks from the 1980s that I’ve ever seen, and considering the options and condition, this would be a great buy if the seller is willing to negotiate the price a little. What are your thoughts on this rare, two-year only turbocharged Toyota Hilux Xtra Cab 4×4?


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  1. Jimbot


    Like 1
    • Danno

      LOL. Totally my first thought.
      Whatr’ya, CHICKEN!!!!????

      Like 1
  2. jimbunte jimbunte Member

    Great article, Mitchell!

  3. Len

    I bought a ’93 used Toyota pickup that appeared to be very much in the same condition. The paint was shiny with no signs of rust whatsoever. I wish I had spent more time crawling underneath before I bought it because I was horrified to later find that the frame looked like it was drug out of the ocean. The corrosion was horrible. That unfortunately soured my to the Toyota brand.

    Like 1
  4. tommy hyatt

    great truck, but I don’t believe it to be anything other than a “standard” cab from the pictures. wouldn’t “Xtra” cab mean it had room behind the back seat?

    • Doug

      You’re right. The Xtra Cab would have a vertical window just behind the drivers seat.

      Like 1
    • Jay Vette

      Yeah this isn’t the Xtra cab. That one had small narrow windows behind the doors, and this one doesn’t, which means it’s the standard cab. If you watch that clip from BTTF, Marty’s truck is indeed an Xtra cab, but this one isn’t.

  5. geomechs geomechs Member

    I remember when Marty McFly saw that new truck and coveted one just like it. Put a bad taste in my mouth. That was a time when the Japanese dealers were really pushing their products, telling the world that American cars were no good. Having owned and worked on both, I drew the conclusion that both broke, with similar regularity. I always enjoyed bantering with the Toyota dealer who told everyone that Toyotas were far superior and never broke down, yet he couldn’t explain why his service department was full of broken Toyotas. Regarding this truck, I’m the first one to say that it looks pretty sharp. But then, so does an S-10/S-15 4×4, all decked out.

    Like 1
  6. Jay E.

    What a nice looking truck, hard to believe one still exists. Terribly underpowered, even with a turbo, especially when towing. Perhaps that is why this one has so few miles driven? Price seems more than fair, given the rarity and condition.

    Like 1
  7. healeydays

    I live 1 town over from Manchester and go by Ron’s Toy Shop in Manchester all the time as it’s on the main drag and he always has interesting toys out front. I wonder where he found this one and why didn’t I find it first…

    Like 1
  8. XMA0891

    NH roads are famously white with salt in the winter – In the best of conditions, if you looked at these long enough, you could almost see the beds disintegrate before your eyes. I would be incredulous to the fact that this truck lived it whole life in NH, but who cares? They are fantastic trucks! 4WD, a stick, and that motor – Will run forever.
    Great find!

    Like 1
  9. Todd Zuercher

    Tommy’s right – this is a standard cab – clearly not an Xtra Cab.

    Like 1
  10. tasker

    a friend of mine owns the actual Toyota from the movie….the restoration on this is unreal!

    Like 1
  11. sparkster

    This particular truck doesn’t have the “turbo” upgraded interior. Nor does it have an “Xtra” cab option. Unfortunately the horsepower rating of 135hp doesn’t get you much in 2017. 2018 Camry has 203hp four cylinder 2.5 engine.

    Like 1
    • Joe Durden

      It dose I had one non Xtra cab and totaled it it was a very quick pickup

      Like 1
  12. sixt5cuda

    “mid-size pickup”??? The Hilux was not considered “mid-size” until the 7th generation appeared in 2004.

    This pickup is a “compact”.

    Like 1
  13. Gene Parmesan

    Super rad. A buddy of mine had a red 87 Turbo model, but the turbo was long gone. He and I both beat the bejesus out of that truck on many different 4-wheeling excursions and it just kept on kicking. Love these old Yotas.

    Like 1
  14. chad Member

    Greg is THE man!
    Good 2 C U on here Randy

  15. Robert

    I have an 87 in pretty good shape for a 30 year old truck. I still drive it daily to work.

    Like 1
  16. BMW4RunninTundra

    Absolutely love/covet this one!! I had a 85 2WD stripped Toyo truck!!! Ran the snot out of it. Maintenance was according to the manual. Seeing as I worked for Toyota at the time, pretty easy to have done. Once “towed” a 32′ Profile due to the owners Bronco being down and out. Front tires barely touched the ground. Dam lucky there were virtually no hills in the 10 mi it had to go. 365K on the odo and was still purring when a box truck pulled out in front of me while doing 55 MPH+!!!!! Walked away with a bruised knee. I actually cried over loosing that family member. Still Toyota’s almost all the way!!! If I had the space and it had AC, I would be making a much lower $$ offer.

    Like 1
  17. Murray S.

    Nice truck till you see the fresh rattle can undercoating. East coast..fresh undercoating and surface rusty floors. Looks like a typical dolled up dog that some poor old sole is gonna get shafted with. WOW. All this for ONLY $19K. Realllly. Selling old cars is cool but what about a little integrity rather than screwing someone over and just hiding all the flaws. You ever think someone has really saved a bit of hard earned money to get their dream car and then end up with this type of rust bucket. I guess it’s all about profit at someone else’s expense. OUCH

  18. Jim

    I have an 88 V6 4Runner, and while I am not an expert on these earlier trucks, there are a few issues that I see. First, the dash is an SR5 dash, the turbo dash was electronic. I am not sure that that particular dash was even available in 86. That could explain the mileage. I could be wrong, though. Second, its just a bit too clean, the B pillar logo’s on these are always faded to some degree on another and ususally barely legible, even on clean trucks. A little too nice IMO.

    Like 1

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